Carlsberg CEO, Jacob Aarup-Anderson, expressed his frustration during a recent journalist call regarding the company’s business in Russia. This came after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the seizure of Carlsberg’s stake in its Baltika subsidiary. Aarup-Anderson stated, “There is no way around the fact that they have stolen our business in Russia, and we are not going to help them make that look legitimate.” Carlsberg responded to the situation by terminating license agreements that allowed for beer production in Russia.
According to Putin’s decree, Carlsberg still retains ownership of the shares in Baltika Breweries. However, the company no longer has control or influence over the operations of the subsidiary.
Carlsberg reported a 3% decline in organic volume growth, with Central and Eastern Europe experiencing a 6.3% slide and Western Europe facing a 5.2% decline. On a positive note, Asia saw a 1.5% rise in volume.
The brewer attributed two-thirds of the volume decline to unfavorable weather conditions and the remaining one-third to consumer sentiment.
Despite the volume decline, Carlsberg witnessed a 5.8% increase in organic revenue due to strategic price adjustments. The company maintains its operating profit guidance for the year, expecting growth of 4% to 7%. Additionally, Carlsberg has initiated a new 1 billion crown stock buyback program.
However, Carlsberg anticipates positive comparisons in China during the fourth quarter due to the easing of lockdown measures compared to the previous year. Conversely, the weak macro environment in Southeast Asia will continue to affect markets.
Although Carlsberg shares remained steady on Tuesday, they have seen an overall 8% decrease throughout this year.